Stories from June 2010

Swim Diapers Were Invented by a Man

Kate Chretien

It was pushing close to 4pm and The Husband and I decided we had to wake up the kids from their nap in order to get ANY beach time. I mean we dragged everyones’ butts all the way over here, we WOULD be getting our money’s worth. Yet, waking them up from deep slumber is never met with a favorable outcome.

There are grunts. Whines. Unpleasant faces and their accompanying sounds. Geez. You think we had wakened them to go back to peeling potatoes at the children’s prison camp. I DON’T WANNA GO BEACH. UHHH.

But, we changed them nevertheless, Elise into her bathing suit, Luke into his swim diaper and babing-soup.

Luke was none too happy, so he clung to me while I sat kneeling on the floor, nuzzling his still-sleepy-head into my chest.

I held him close, stroking and patting his back, poor thing. What a rude awakening. He just needed some time to wake up.

Suddenly, I became aware of warmth enveloping my thighs. Ah, motherhood was so rewarding…WAIT. That’s not motherhood. I stood Luke up and spotted two matching set of wet spots on either side of my groin…NO. NOOOOOO! (Read more…)

The Torture of Playing Make Believe

Angie McCullagh

I consider myself lucky that I get to have a boy and a girl. Both genders. Two very different experiences. Which is exactly what my husband and I hoped for. Milo toughens Belle and Belle softens Milo.

And not only are their sexes and temperaments distinct, but their play styles are as polar opposite as wrestling and interpretive dance.

Though I adore Belle and her drama and imagination, I actually prefer playing with Milo. He likes Catch. Or Battleship. Or good, old-fashioned card games. Easy. Straight forward. Even edging toward fun.

Belle, however, concocts elaborate, never-ending, labyrinths in which the rules exist only in her head and can change on a dime. A typical play session with Belle might go something like this:

Belle: Mommy, it’s Sylvie’s birthday today. Will you come to her party? (Sylvie isn’t actually a person, but some apparition Belle refers to regularly.)

I agree and head up to her room.

Belle: Okay, Mommy. It’s a fairy party. A fairy party where everyone brings a pet toad. Did you bring your toad? (Read more…)

Code Brown and the Grocery Gods of Doom

Lisa Douglas

For whatever reason, the grocery gods do not like me very much. When my husband was away on TDY (Temporary Duty Assignment or away temporarily for official Army business, for short) last month, I had to take ALL.SIX.KIDS. grocery shopping by myself for those four weeks. That was indeed a special place in hell I hope to not visit again anytime soon. Today, we had a grocery emergency in which we ran out of wipes. With two children still in diapers, I’m sure you can appreciate the true nature of this emergency. It was a Code Brown, as it were. Ahem.

Imagine the look on my face as I reach in for the very last wipe, calling out to one of my (many) kids to grab me a new package, only for them to return wipe-less with the horrible news, there was no wipe-back-up for me, I was flying solo with a couple of napkins and my faucet unless I went to the store. Yikes!

I ever-so-quickly stacked my kids into the car like Ihop does with a plate of pancakes and arrived at the store in about 2.4 seconds flat (I kid, they were all buckled appropriately and I did not speed. Much). The parking lot was atrociously busy, and it was right then when it occurred to me - it was pay day. Everyone and their mother shops the commissary on pay day. Crap. I had to face the truth - I would have to navigate all six freakin’ kids through that ridiculously busy store, but it had to be done, it was a Code Brown, after all. (Read more…)

Rip Van Winkle Was Clearly Not a Mom

Becca Sanders

When I was a kid, I was a very heavy sleeper. We lived in a neighborhood with inadequate storm sewers, and occasionally when it stormed we’d have to bail water out of the basement. Sometimes all the neighbors would form a bailing party, then make a big breakfast. I slept through all of it: the thunder and lighting, the people calling to one another, and the sounds of boots tromping up and down the stairs. I’d hear all about it the next morning, and smell the bacon that lingered in the air.

These days, I awaken if I hear my son’s sheets rustle when he turns over in his sleep. I knew that I’d get less sleep when I became a parent, but I didn’t know that what little I did get would be so unsatisfying. Most of the time, I’m only half-asleep, and half attuned to what might be happening throughout the house: did one of the kids just cry out? is that a raccoon in the garbage? and is the dog throwing up again?

It’s a cut-rate, factory-seconds kind of sleep.

My husband J., on the other hand, sleeps like a corpse – that snores. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.